Hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) of the armpits (axillary hyperhidrosis) is another common site to be affected. It can have a major effect on people’s lives and sufferers are constantly aware of trying to hide embarrassing wetness or sweat stains on clothes, and this can interfere with work or social activities.
Avoid man-made fabrics and tight fitting clothes, and reduce obvious signs of sweating by wearing black or white. Wash with emollient washes and moisturisers rather than soap-based cleansers.
Clothing protectors can be worn under the arms to protect clothing and there are specially designed undergarments with integrated sweat protection pads to prevent sweat stains on the outer clothing.
Antiperspirants containing aluminium chloride are a good first line choice. Treatment consists of applying the antiperspirant onto the skin and leaving it on overnight and washing off again in the morning. The skin must be dry and clean upon application. If the skin is moist, severe skin irritation may occur. Aluminium free antiperspirants are now available such as IXAL.
Botox: Axillary hyperhidrosis can be treated by Botulinum Toxin A. This is only available in a few NHS hospitals, but is performed in many private hospitals and clinics throughout the UK.
Iontophoresis machines can be used to treat armpits, using Axillae pads.
Endoscopic Thoracic Sympathectomy (ETS) is not recommended for axillary hyperhidrosis.